do nothing may be a fantasy in our part of the world, but
at Soneva Gili the exercise has been honed into a fine art.
Whether it is the architecture of the villa, staff uniform,
an 'over-the-water deck' or bicycle as the mode of transport,
everything is tuned towards doing nothing, and if one insists,
to do languorously.
course if you want to, you can do a bit of windsurfing, diving,
water-skiing, snorkelling, canoeing, fishing and island hopping.
There are guests who play table tennis, tennis, badminton,
boccia and volleyball. And, if you are that kind of person
you can even borrow VCDs and watch some great movies. These
options exist because the resort believes each guest should
be catered to but the best thing to do there is to do nothing.
had my priorities clear. I wanted to master the art of doing
nothing. And nature had never perfected a better location.
Much of my holiday was spent on the water deck (attached to
my villa) sipping beer as silver clouds formed interesting
patches on the clear equatorial sky. The ocean beneath was
transparent and smooth. The only sound is the sound of the
ocean, both mesmerising and hypnotic -- the kind of sound
that only an ocean can make! My villa was located about 300
metres within the ocean. Every once in a while, I would go
down for a languid swim. The coral reefs were about 500 metres
away, but right below my villa there were a few stray corals
growing. Many colourful fishes had made the patch their home.
The bathroom in a water villa;
View from a villa;
(Below) Fitness facilities
is most memorable to me about my sojourn is the fishing. The
resort arranges a fishing trip and sunrise breakfast for a
few dollars more. The breakfast is grand, even though I was
late for the sunrise. Fishing was unbelievable. The fishes
which abound in the region are the Waahu, Job Fish and Trout.
Unless you are very unlucky nobody comes back empty-handed.
We did what is called trolley fishing (also known as big game
the base of the fishing rod was attached to the dhoni (boat),
we then threw the line into the water and then forgot about
it. The whole point of exercise is that when a fish bites,
pressure is exerted and the rod sags; that is how you come
to know. If a Waahu bites, you have to lift the rod and place
its base on your left thigh for support. With the left hand
you hold the rod and with the right you furiously reel the
line back. The entire weight of the rod and the weight of
the struggle of the fish is felt on your left hand and thigh.
It is painful, sweaty, hot and fun.
Waahu did bite our line. It then kept pace with the dhoni
and sometimes abruptly jerked, just to try his luck. Finally
when I lifted it off the water, boy, it struggled, and how
it struggled. We got it in the end. The spoils of the day:
three Tuna, one Job Fish and one Waahu weighing about three
kilograms and about 16 inches long. We then returned to the
the night, since Maldives is close to the equator, the sky
almost falls in a straight line. Since you are in the middle
of an ocean, the sky can't be clearer. Fortunately for me,
the moon was just a day beyond full and resplendent in her
glory. The air-conditioned master bedroom exists, but if you
are my kind of person you wouldn't even think about it. You
would call the Guest Relations and ask them to set up bed
in the open-air roof of the villa. If the complimentary French
wine has already been consumed, make sure you order another
bottle for the night! Maybe half-an-hour later, if you had
to choose between Soneva Gili and heaven, chances are you
would opt for the former.
completely surrounded by water
Space Within the Sea
as we may like to call Kerala the God's own country
or Goa as the Eden itself, they are way too insignificant
to even be compared to Maldives. The first thing that
strikes you about Maldives is the outstanding blue of
the overhead sky and the turquoise blue of the waters
beneath. Both stretch endlessly. The sheer magnificence
of nature hits you head on. Soneva Gili is so located
as to get the best of everything Maldives. Situated
almost entirely on water, the resort has been set up
in Lankanfushi, one of the largest lagoons in Maldives.
Four jetties stretch out from the island and along each
one water villas are placed. Each villa is so positioned
that there is complete privacy. And in the entire island,
only 44 villas have been constructed so that each guest
can be given personal attention and individual service.
It is not uncommon for the resort staff to know after
just one visit to the bar that you are more of whiskey
man than a wine lover, and your preference is for Scotch
and not rye whiskey.
The villa itself is very spacious with 110 square metres
and tastefully furnished on raw wood. The wood, glass
and colour combination of the interiors make them throb
with life. Set on the backdrop of the sky and the water,
it stops becoming a thing of beauty and moves on to
become an experience.
A week's stay at Soneva Gili Resort and Spa including
lodging, boarding and nothing else costs US $ 3241 for
a couple, and that's when tariffs are at the lowest.
During peak season it can go as high as US $ 7266. Almost
all round the year it is packed to capacity.
Air Seychelles operates direct flights from Mumbai to
For reservations contact:
Manager-Sales & Marketing
Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas
86-87, Atlanta, Nariman Point,
Tel : (009122) 2308787 Fax: (009122)2308780
email: firstname.lastname@example.org website : www.six-senses.com